Nostalgia of the old times! This is what I felt at Giovanni Rana’s restaurant when I was invited for dinner in the company of all the most popular Italian food companies I have known since childhood.
I saw all the faces behind all the big Italian brands I grew up with: Cirio, Barilla, Rio Mare, Lavazza, Zonin… and many many more. I knew every single product very well.
The occasion was the launch of “Ciao Gusto” where all the largest Italian brands have joined together and are now available in the UK too.
There was lots of freshly sliced salami and prosciutto on display, beautifully prepared and lots of wine including Prosecco at our arrival.
I chatted all the time and non-stop, the restaurant was in fact filled with Italians! The atmosphere was very lively and everyone seemed to be having a very good time indeed; I just felt at home. When you dine with Italians you can be sure there is never shortage of food and wine.
There is something about Italians eating all together: lots of noise, laughs, good food, good wine and yes.. a great atmosphere!
I was served several courses. Giovanni Rana’s fried ravioli were my favourites. These can be savoury or sweet and they are extremely addictive.
Cannelloni with bechamel and tomato sauce.
Ravioli with ricotta, spinach and mascarpone, perfumed with lemon zest were absolutely divine.
The pannacotta had some “Fabbri amarene” or cherries seeded and candied in syrup which I have not had since I was a child. In an instant I was transported back in time. This is what food can do to you!
And sure! I managed to get a snapshot with the master of pasta who I admire very much: Mr Giovanni Rana! Some time ago Mr Rana taught me to make tortellini by hand at his restaurant and I have been making them at home ever since!